For over 15 years, Greg Osmond has been studying the growing field of dermatopathology and accompanying forms of cancer. He is a board-certified pathologist and dermatopathologist and an expert on cutaneous disease. During residency at Duke University, Greg participated in the Health Policy Law and Ethics concentration track where he focused on novel business models surrounding the implementation of digital pathology with an emphasis on dermatology. Following Residency he completed a fellowship in dermatopathology in the combined Harvard program, rotating between Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women’s, and Massachusetts General Hospitals. While Pathology Watch currently focuses its laboratory services to dermatologists within the United States, Greg is looking forward to expanding the capabilities and accessibility of specialized diagnoses and treatment through the use of digital pathology and supervised artificial intelligence in underdeveloped settings. We sat down with Greg to learn more about his connection with digital pathology and his vision for PathologyWatch and its influence on the dermatology field.
At what point in your education did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in dermatopathology?
I spent my third year of medical school at Duke in dermatology clinics and performing melanoma research. As part of those endeavors I worked extensively with the staff dermatopathologists, and discovered that I enjoyed my time at the microscope more than my time in clinic, though I have always enjoyed both.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working in dermatopathology?
I find the most satisfaction when I take a deep dive into unusual cases in order to come up with the best answer and most helpful results to the clinician and patient. Sometimes answers aren’t clear cut on the pathology slides, and more involved correlation with clinical findings and the literature are needed to issue a report that is helpful. Generating a concise but clinically helpful report in these instances are the most rewarding.
What made you want to develop PathologyWatch?
I have been privileged to train, work in, and consult with some of the best hospital systems and pathology departments in the country. However, within each center there is a noticeable disconnect between the technology being used in other industries, and systems commonly employed in the healthcare settings. Simultaneously, health systems and providers are also looking for ways to enhance efficiencies in providing care while simultaneously noticeably improving quality. We have created PathologyWatch to solve these issues simultaneously within anatomic pathology using cutting-edge digital technologies as the foundation.
What is it about your experience and/or background that helps you bring something unique to PathologyWatch?
I think my strongest asset for PathologyWatch has been to help gather outstanding people to work with. I would say that goes for my co-founders Dan and Michael as well. We’ve gathered excellent, dedicated people with incredible skill sets that are focused on the problem, but also have a high level of integrity, character, and are people that I genuinely enjoy interacting with.
When it comes to serving dermatologists, what matters most to you?
I believe the best way to serve dermatologists is to set up and optimize our systems and services so they are focused on the patient experience. Patients come first at PathologyWatch, and we develop our systems to be optimally efficient for them. The beautiful thing is that what improves care for patients also seems to serve dermatologists best. This includes
(1) the quality of the diagnosis and report format, (2) optimal interfacing to minimize patient errors and get results to the provider in their EMR faster, (3) enhancing the dermatologist’s ability to easily correlate pathology with clinical findings via immediate 24/7 access to diagnostic slides that have been digitized, (4) 24/48hr turnaround time on routine specimens, as well as on cases when additional consultation may be needed, (5) having DermPaths available to view digital slides with dermatologists as needed, (6) having comprehensive insurance coverage and (7) reasonable cash pay prices. By focusing on what we would want if we were the patient has been the guiding principle for us. Patients get a better answer when derms work with digital tech. This also includes the underdeveloped world. When you learn that 45 percent of the world doesn’t currently have access to diagnostics, largely due to the cost of care, you want to do something to change that. Optimally developed algorithms working in tandem with an expert pathology service model will hopefully not only improve the quality of care but also allow for the cost of care to drop to an affordable price point for all patients, both domestically and internationally. That’s our goal.
What’s an interesting fun fact about Greg Osmond?
I lived in rural Honduras for a few years during college. I enjoy music production and downhill skiing, so living in Utah has been great. But I spend most of my free time exploring the red rocks of Southern Utah with my wife and five kids. We had twins a few years ago, and that definitely keeps us busy.